Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: May 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fighting Depression and Anxiety

We all were created by God for a specific purpose. As I’ve drawn closer to God and prayed over various areas and circumstances in my life, He has always been faithful to reveal specific answers to my prayers, but always in His perfect timing. I learned how I was to quit working and be a stay at home mom to our sons specifically so I could raise them to be the men of God that they were intended to be. When we struggled with financing our new home, I was promised that our home would be a blessing to others, where we would share God with others. When we were deciding upon the question of homeschooling, the two previous promises came together again - reminding me, God’s timing is indeed perfect and only with those promises fulfilled could we make that faithful step of homeschooling.

So now, I am once again at God’s mercy with yet another trial and staring fear in the face, questioning every move I make, afraid to be out of the will of God - not sure if I’m doing the right thing; is our home and my health at risk by allowing anxiety and depression to overpower me. It can be a lonely place, when a Believer struggles with such doubts - afraid to share them with others, because you don’t want to discourage others - especially when you’ve always been the strong encourager and prayer warrior for everyone else. Not wanting to answer when asked how you are, because you don’t want to lie and you don’t want to tell the truth ~ that you cry yourself to sleep most nights and while awake are consumed with fear and anxiety during the day.

I know I tend to share a lot and this has made me fearful of writing. I’m either sharing too much or I’m sharing enough to let others know they aren’t alone.  So I’ve held back writing about this time I’m going through - afraid of sharing too much, yet needing to get off my chest what has paralyzed me for far too long.

Like all good parents, my parents worry about me, even as a wife/mom at age 39, that hasn’t stopped their worry - so much that I don’t dare tell them what all I’m dealing with. My husband is in Afghanistan and definitely has too much to be concerned about, let alone worry about all that his wife is struggling with back home. I wish I could say I have friends to confide in, but honestly, they are too busy with their own lives to get involved with me and most of them assume I’m this Super Woman who can do it all, so when I mention what’s going on, it’s easily brushed aside as not that big of a deal. That’s why it’s so wonderful to have a Heavenly Father that I can lay my burdens down to, a God that I can cry out to; I know that I can boldly go to His throne of grace and receive His never ending love and mercy, peace, strength and comfort. 

I know the enemy wants nothing more than to keep me gripped in this fear and panic, but that’s the key - I know that’s where he wants me, so I’m not going to stay there - I choose Life. 

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NLT)

Jesus already broke those chains of bondage for me when I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, we’ve been given complete authority over the devil, so when he begins whispering his lies and doubts we have to lean on the Word of God more than ever, because it's by His strength and His might we are more than conquerors!

So I’m taking hold of the promises that God has given me, and I’m claiming even more.  God’s promises haven’t changed, He’s given me my own and He’s given all His children the same inheritance, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans for a GOOD and NOT for disaster, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE’. My purpose hasn’t changed, I might have run into some road blocks and made some mistakes along the way, but God’s mercy is freely given to the repentant heart.  

God knows the trials I’m going through and I know that only the work of a supernatural miracle will resolve my problems - I have to trust in God, He made those promises to me and I can’t stop believing in them just because of what I’m going through - that’s what faith is all about. I’ve learned a lot through this and I’m still learning, but I believe the key that God wanted to show me was; no matter what happens, this world is temporary, we are but vapors in the wind and only one thing remains - God’s love; so there’s nothing I can ever fear in this life when the Creator of the Universe knows me, loves me, and has great plans for me!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. 12 At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. 13 You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. 14 Yes, I will be found by you,” says the Eternal, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations where you’ve been scattered—all the places where I have driven you. I will bring you back to the land that is your rightful home.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 VOICE)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Don't Stop Believing

Jesus was the Son of God, but he still suffered, and through his sufferings he learned to obey whatever God says.
(Hebrews 5:8 ERV)

God doesn’t send the suffering we endure, we either bring it on ourselves - by our fleshly desires or by another person’s hand or even the enemies doing. Does the suffering we endure mean that we deserve it, not necessarily. Does the suffering mean that we have done something wrong, not necessarily. Does the suffering mean that God is angry with us and is punishing us, NEVER!

While Jesus lived on earth he prayed to God, asking for help from the one who could save him from death. He prayed to God with loud cries and tears. And his prayers were answered because of his great respect for God. 
(Hebrews 5:7 ERV)

I can’t imagine any Christians arguing that Jesus deserved the punishment and cross that he bore, Jesus is the only one who has ever been without sin - yet he suffered - so how could the argument that God punishes his children be effective here?  God didn’t put Jesus on the cross - man did, Jesus did everything God wanted him to and he was still punished. 

Don’t be tricked by the lies of the enemy into believing that if someone is going through some trial or storm - God must be teaching them a lesson and punishing them for their wrongdoings.  That’s not how God works, that’s how the enemy wants people to see God - as some cruel God who is always looking down on us disapprovingly.  And when people get caught up in that belief, they miss who God really is -  a loving, faithful Father with endless blessings of grace and mercy.

Jesus bore the cross, because he knew it was the only way to save us. We were incapable of fulfilling the law, the only way to make us right with God was with the one final perfect sacrifice. That’s the beauty of God’s grace - receiving the gift of righteousness when we haven’t done anything to deserve it. Yes, we deserved punishment, eternal death, but God is a loving God and didn’t want that for us - so He gave us His Son as mercy - instead of eternal death, the punishment we deserve, He has given us eternal life as His adopted children.

So when you’re going through the storms of life and instead of trying to justify whether you did something to deserve this, turn to God in prayer, pray for God's mercy and grace, and then ask God to show you how you can serve God through this trial.

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. (Romans 8:28 VOICE)

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your faith is lacking if your prayers aren’t answered either. God answers our prayers - not in our time, but in His time.  Remember, God answered Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane; in His perfect timing - three days after his crucifixion, Jesus was resurrected. 

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